After a sub-par performance in the past seasons playoffs, Ray Shero knew his d-core needed an upgrade and when July 1st came around, he went right to work.
The finishing product resulted in Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek coming to the Pens which will surely boost a shaky back-line into a playoff ready contender.
Both also signed five year contracts which will allow Pens fans to get very familiar with the duo.
Michalek, who was instrumental in the Coyotes’ improbable run last season, is a defensive defenseman that will add some grit to a soft back end. His poise and smooth skating will be an asset with the departure of Sergei Gonchar.
Speaking of incredible skaters, meet Paul Martin. The Minnesota-native had an injury plagued season last year which forced him to miss out on the Olympics, and is looking to get back into the ranks as one of the best American defensemen on the planet
With the defense in tact, Shero now is $2.9 million under the cap and which he will hopefully use to acquire a winger which could slip into the top four.
Most forwards are under contract for next year which makes me think he is settled on the players currently on the roster.
But as we saw against Montreal, a lack of depth on the wings is the Penguins kryptonite and those short comings could spell another early exit, come next year.
Shero also signed defenceman Andrew Hutchinson to a one year, two-way contract that will pay him $500,000 at the NHL level.
Hutchinson has made several stops around the NHL and will likely start the year in the AHL.
That’s it for now, we will check in later.
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Written by Amit Mann